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Mar 22, 2021

Junior Gold Coast City Council

Rivermount College students have been proud members of the Junior Gold Coast City Council (JGCCC) for many years. Our 2021 representatives are a group of dedicated Year 10 and Year 11 students. Year 11 student, Melissa Magness, provides an account of the program for Term 1 below:

On the 25 February, students from Years 10 and 11 embarked on a trip to the first of five Junior Gold Coast City Council meetings of the year.

There, our representatives engaged with like-minded students from a variety of schools across the Gold Coast involved in the program, meeting other young and aspiring leaders. With the program running online for the majority of our Council meetings in 2020, it was fantastic to be able to reunite with our fellow Junior Council members and engage in the wonderful leadership exercises run together as a community.

While we said our farewells to the 2020 Executive Committee, we also welcomed the 2021 Executive Committee and new Year 10 students to the Junior Council program.  Starting the day off with the Induction Ceremony, Mayor Tom Tate welcomed the newly elected members of 2021’s Executive Committee. Our wonderful Junior Council organisers set out a banquet of morning tea and lunch options, which we had the privilege of enjoying. From fruit to biscuits and sandwiches to wraps, what’s not to love? 

What Did We Learn?

Eager to begin the first meeting of the year, everyone stepped outside of their social comfort zones and got involved in the activities held during the session.  We were taught about all forms of leadership, from Coaches to Commanders and Visionaries to Relationship Builders. 

Each person was asked what leadership meant to them. The most common reply was ‘setting a positive example for others.’ However, we learned that leadership is so much more. It is creating hope, leading by example, having an action plan, looking after the team and most importantly, challenging the limits of society. We left that Council session inspired to be better – to do better to inspire others. To open opportunities that others could not. 

First Activity of The Day

Throughout the day, many leadership building activities were held for students to participate in. Our first task was to think of three people whom we idolized, then explain why to another student in the room. When asked by the Guest Speaker to lock eyes with a complete stranger for 5 seconds and proceed to tell that person your idols, you’d feel pretty awkward right? I know I sure did. Every person in the room undoubtedly felt the same, yet we still pushed outside our comfort zones together, and something great came out of it. We were given the opportunity to make friends and share our experiences. Activities like this helped everyone to become more comfortable with the idea of talking to new people and putting ourselves out into the world. 

What has Junior Council been like so far?

From my experience over the past year of being involved in the Junior Council Program, I have already learnt so much about our local government, community, and leadership. I found that the most opportune part of these meetings is you are not just taught, you are immersed and involved in an experience like no other. We are given opportunity to make innovative change amongst our community whilst learning about our modern society, 2020 Junior Major Narii Hamill-Salmon described his experience in the Junior Council as “One of the best ways to meet like-minded young people while learning about civic leadership.” I personally could not have put it better.

Melissa Magness, Year 11